Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

How about pizza tonight? Homemade pizza nights should be fun and easy, and that’s where this pizza dough recipe comes into play. It’s ready in 15 minutes,…

The post Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

whole wheat pizza dough recipe

How about pizza tonight? Homemade pizza nights should be fun and easy, and that’s where this pizza dough recipe comes into play. It’s ready in 15 minutes, start to finish. That’s a lot faster than delivery!

This quick pizza dough yields a crust of medium thickness that’s crisp across the bottom and a little chewy in the middle. It has a lovely, yeasty flavor with just a hint of whole wheat. I love this dough so much that I shared it in my cookbook, Love Real Food.

proofing yeast for pizza dough

This dough doesn’t have the elusive, stretchy, chewy, sourdough texture that I crave in authentic brick oven pizza. This homemade dough is fantastic, though. A few reasons to love this recipe:

  • It’s made from scratch with basic, wholesome ingredients.
  • You can make it in your food processor (or by hand).
  • This dough requires zero proofing time. You can make your pizzas right away.
  • The dough requires minimal effort—just a couple of kneads and a few rolls with a rolling pin.

Let’s make some pizzas!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Incredible Jalapeno Pizza

This incredible jalapeno pizza is the best way to enjoy this mighty pepper on a cheesy pie! It’s full of savory, spicy flavor. Every time we make a new pizza recipe…it’s our new favorite. Apologies if we sound like a broken record around here. But you absolutely must try this Jalapeño Pizza! This is destined to be a hit if you love the bright zingy flavor of this mighty pepper. Instead of a tomato sauce or even a white sauce, this pizza has a base of tangy salsa verde! Pair the heat of the jalapeno with savory zucchini, bright sweet corn, and gooey cheese, and it’s a uniquely delicious pie that you’ll fall head over heels for. Let’s make one! How to make a jalapeno pizza You could call this jalapeno pizza a green pizza…because it’s topped with bright green salsa verde! Forget the typical tomato-based pizza sauce here, or even a white sauce. The bright flavor of the salsa is the perfect pairing for the spicy jalapeno. Here are the basic steps to make it (or go right to the recipe): Make the pizza dough. See below. Or, you can also do a “cheater” pizza by using this as a […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This incredible jalapeno pizza is the best way to enjoy this mighty pepper on a cheesy pie! It’s full of savory, spicy flavor.

Jalapeno pizza

Every time we make a new pizza recipe…it’s our new favorite. Apologies if we sound like a broken record around here. But you absolutely must try this Jalapeño Pizza! This is destined to be a hit if you love the bright zingy flavor of this mighty pepper. Instead of a tomato sauce or even a white sauce, this pizza has a base of tangy salsa verde! Pair the heat of the jalapeno with savory zucchini, bright sweet corn, and gooey cheese, and it’s a uniquely delicious pie that you’ll fall head over heels for. Let’s make one!

How to make a jalapeno pizza

You could call this jalapeno pizza a green pizza…because it’s topped with bright green salsa verde! Forget the typical tomato-based pizza sauce here, or even a white sauce. The bright flavor of the salsa is the perfect pairing for the spicy jalapeno. Here are the basic steps to make it (or go right to the recipe):

  • Make the pizza dough. See below. Or, you can also do a “cheater” pizza by using this as a topping for Naan Pizza or Flatbread Pizza!
  • Saute the zucchini. All you need is 1/2 cup sliced zucchini. Saute it up in a small skillet: it takes just 5 minutes because of the small quantity.
  • Slice the jalapeno pepper. Make sure to protect your hands from the spicy juices! Wash your hands thoroughly after cutting.
  • Slice the corn off of the cob. Here’s our secret method for how to cut corn without spraying it all over your kitchen.
  • Top that pie and bake! Load everything on with mozzarella and feta cheese and bake for 5 minutes until the cheese is golden.
Jalapeno pizza

Pizza dough options!

Easily the hardest part of a homemade pizza is the pizza dough. But then again, easily the best part of a homemade pizza is homemade pizza dough! We highly recommend making our master recipe, below. But, there’s not always time for pizza dough. Below are a few shortcuts too!

  • Pizza dough: master recipe! This Best Pizza Dough has the absolute perfect flavor and texture. Stretching the dough takes a bit of practice, but it’s not hard. Head to How to Stretch Pizza Dough.
  • Thin crust. Try this Thin Crust Pizza Doug! It’s easy to roll out into a thinner, crispier crust.
  • Pan pizza. Another option: make this as a pan pizza in a cast iron skillet! It takes a little longer, but it’s an easier method.
  • Naan or flatbread pizza.  Here’s the quickest and easiest option! Try our Naan Pizza or Flatbread Pizza using purchased flatbread.

Use a pizza stone if you can!

This jalapeno pizza tastes amazing when you bake it on a pizza stone. It’s especially helpful for our basic and thin crust options, above. Here’s why:

  • Pizza stone: A pizza stone is what makes Italian pizza crust crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found, plus care tips.
  • Pizza peel: Use a pizza peel to transfer the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. We recommend this Standard pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel.
Jalapeño peppers

More topping ideas for jalapeno pizza

Of course, you can use lots of different vegetables on your jalapeno pizza! Here are a few ideas of other flavors that would pair well:

  • White sauce: Try the ricotta cheese sauce from this white pizza instead of salsa verde.
  • Hot sauce: Want to blow your face off? Drizzle with Cholula.
  • Bacon and cream cheese: Turn it into a jalapeno popper pizza by spreading the crust with cream cheese and topping with bacon.
  • Bell peppers: Add more peppers, like the sauteed bell peppers from this healthy pizza.
  • Mushrooms: Try the mushroom sausage from this pan pizza.
  • Refried beans: Put jalapeno on a taco pizza instead.

How hot is a jalapeno pepper?

The jalapeno pepper is a medium spicy pepper. We’re assuming if you’re making this jalapeno pizza, you can handle the heat! The heat rating is 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). Here’s where it stacks up against other types of peppers:

  • Green pepper: No spice
  • Anaheim pepper: Very mild
  • Poblano peppers: Mild
  • Jalapeno peppers: Medium hot
  • Serrano peppers: Hot
  • Cayenne: Very hot
  • Habanero: Extremely hot
  • Ghost pepper: Outrageously hot
Jalapeno pizza

More jalapeno recipes

Love jalapeno peppers? Us too. There’s something about the flavor that’s not just spicy: it’s fresh and bright, too! Here are some of our favorite jalapeno recipes to try:

  • Pickled Jalapeños Add big flavor to your meals with these easy homemade pickled jalapeños! With only 10 minutes hands on time, they add a tangy kick to tacos and chili.
  • Jalapeño Margarita Heat up your cocktail repertoire with this spicy margarita! Crisp and tart, it’s got just the right kick.
  • The BEST Salsa This fresh salsa features ripe and juicy tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, and lots of lime.
  • Simple Guacamole The best simple guacamole with the perfect flavor! You’ll hear a chorus of “Wow’s” every time you serve it.

This jalapeno pizza recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Jalapeno pizza

Incredible Jalapeno Pizza


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This incredible jalapeno pizza is the best way to enjoy this mighty pepper on a cheesy pie! It’s full of savory, spicy flavor.


Ingredients

  • 1 ball Best Pizza Dough (or Thin Crust Dough)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced zucchini (about 1/3 small zucchini)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 corn cob or 1/3 cup corn kernels
  • 1 handful sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese or queso fresco crumbles
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough or Thin Crust Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Saute the zucchini: Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a small skillet. Add the sliced zucchini, kosher salt, and dried oregano and saute until tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
  4. Prepare the other toppings: Thinly slice the jalapeño pepper. Cut the corn off of the cob. Mince the red onion.
  5. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  6. Spread the salsa verde onto the dough in a thin layer with the back of a spoon. Top with the mozzarella cheese, zucchini, jalapeno, and red onion. Sprinkle with the feta cheese.
  7. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Jalapeno Pizza

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

This baked Eggplant Parmesan is truly incredible: coated in a crispy crust that’s magically gluten free. You’ll never make it another way! Here’s one of the ultimate Italian comfort foods, done easier and healthier: eggplant Parmesan! Typically this baby is fried, but we have a secret for you. It’s even better baked, and this version is incredible. It’s from our friend Charlotte Smythe’s new cookbook One Pot Keto Cooking and you will be truly amazed by the flavor and texture. The eggplant is coated in an impossibly crispy coating that’s also magically gluten free and low carb. The secret? Almond flour. It’s a genius trick and you’ll never make this recipe another way. Here’s more about Charlotte’s baked eggplant Parmesan and the book! The secret to crispy baked eggplant Parmesan This baked eggplant Parmesan has the most crispy, flavorful coating and tender interior that every bite is a revelation. We made this recipe for my parents when they were in town visiting, and everyone kept exclaiming: wow! (True story.) The secret to the crispy exterior? Here’s what to know: Almond flour and Parmesan cheese make the perfect crispy coating. Almond flour has the perfect fluffy texture for breading, and it […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This baked Eggplant Parmesan is truly incredible: coated in a crispy crust that’s magically gluten free. You’ll never make it another way!

Baked eggplant Parmesan

Here’s one of the ultimate Italian comfort foods, done easier and healthier: eggplant Parmesan! Typically this baby is fried, but we have a secret for you. It’s even better baked, and this version is incredible. It’s from our friend Charlotte Smythe’s new cookbook One Pot Keto Cooking and you will be truly amazed by the flavor and texture. The eggplant is coated in an impossibly crispy coating that’s also magically gluten free and low carb. The secret? Almond flour. It’s a genius trick and you’ll never make this recipe another way. Here’s more about Charlotte’s baked eggplant Parmesan and the book!

The secret to crispy baked eggplant Parmesan

This baked eggplant Parmesan has the most crispy, flavorful coating and tender interior that every bite is a revelation. We made this recipe for my parents when they were in town visiting, and everyone kept exclaiming: wow! (True story.) The secret to the crispy exterior? Here’s what to know:

  • Almond flour and Parmesan cheese make the perfect crispy coating. Almond flour has the perfect fluffy texture for breading, and it crisps up like a charm in the oven. Alex and I don’t eat gluten free, low carb or keto exclusively, but this method is our new favorite.
  • Make sure to buy grated Parmesan. That’s the cheese with the texture of snow: not the kind that looks like long sticks (that’s shredded). Grated has a similar texture to almond flour, and makes the perfect gluten free breading.
Baked eggplant Parmesan

Choosing eggplant: long and thin is preferred!

Another tip for making baked eggplant Parmesan: choose an eggplant that is on the long and thin side, if you can find it. Many large globe eggplants (the Italian variety) can have a rather fat bulb at the end. When you slice it to make an eggplant round, the rounds at the widest part of the eggplant can come out massive. We had this problem because we were working with a very large eggplant.

Try to find eggplants that are longer and thinner, to make for a more manageable size of rounds. It’s not a deal breaker: it just looks prettier. It tastes amazing no matter what the size of eggplant!

How to serve this baked eggplant Parmesan

This gluten free baked eggplant Parmesan is so tasty, you’ll want to eat the entire pan. (We almost did!) You can serve it either as a side dish or a main. If you’re serving it as a vegetarian dinner recipe, you’ll want to add some filling sides or try the casserole variation (see below). Here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Add pasta (gluten free or legume). Go Italian style and serve this eggplant Parmesan with pasta (long or short noodles). If you eat low carb or gluten free, you could try your favorite gluten free or legume pasta.
  • Add a big salad. Try it with a big salad, like Caesar Salad topped with chickpeas, or this Perfect Italian Salad.
  • Serve as a side with fish. Try it alongside lemon caper salmon, pan fried cod, or grilled tilapia.
Baked eggplant Parmesan

Try the casserole variation! (like a lasagna)

Want to turn this baked eggplant Parmesan into an even more filling vegetarian dinner recipe? Try it in the casserole style variation! This makes it into a lasagna-style baked main dish. Here are some notes about this variation:

  • Double the eggplant and breading. You’ll make the eggplant the same way, but double the quantities so you can stack it in a 9 x 13″ pan.
  • Layer the baked eggplant with marinara and mozzarella in 2 layers. You’ll need double the mozzarella cheese here. Place a layer of eggplant, then marinara and mozzarella, and do this twice.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese melts. Then top with fresh basil! More instructions are in the recipe below.

And that’s it! We know you’ll love Charlotte’s gluten free baked eggplant Parmesan as much as we did! Keep reading for more about her book.

One pot keto cooking

About the book: One Pot Keto Cooking

This baked eggplant Parmesan recipe is from the new book One Pot Keto Cooking by our pal Charlotte Smythe. Charlotte is an incredible recipe developer and photographer and the book is simply stunning. It’s full of delicious low-carb meals for the busy cook that are all cooked in one pot. It does include meat, but if you eat pescatarian like we do, there are plenty of vegetarian and seafood options. You’ll salivate over each one! Congratulations, Charlotte, on this masterpiece!

Grab a copy of the book: One Pot Keto Cooking by Charlotte Smythe

This baked eggplant Parmesan recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, keto, and low carb.

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Baked eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This baked Eggplant Parmesan is truly incredible: coated in a crispy crust that’s magically gluten free. You’ll never make it another way!


Ingredients

  • 1 medium large eggplant, about 1 pound (long and thin preferable) OR see casserole variation*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups jarred marinara sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (we used a combination of fresh mozzarella and shredded)
  • Fresh basil, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. 
  2.  Cut off the ends of the eggplant and cut it into 3/8-inch slices. 
  3. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and set it aside.
  4. Combine the Parmesan cheese, almond flour, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt in another shallow bowl and set it aside. 
  5. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg and then the Parmesan cheese mixture. Transfer the coated eggplant slices to the prepared sheet pan in a single layer, about 1/2-inch apart. Use two sheet pans if you do not have one large enough to fit all the slices. 
  6. Bake the eggplant for about 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until tender and golden brown. 
  7. Remove the eggplant from the oven (go to Casserole Variation* if desired). Add 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce on top of each eggplant slice and add an equal amount of mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. 
  8. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Top with torn basil. Serve with pasta (gluten free or legume pasta) or a few side dishes, or the casserole variation makes for a more filling main dish.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from One-Pot Keto Cooking by Charlotte Smythe

*Casserole variation: Double the recipe and use 2 pounds of eggplant and double the breading ingredients. After baking for 20 minutes until tender, spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. Place half the baked eggplant in a layer on the bottom, then top with 1 cup marinara and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the second layer of eggplant with another 1 cup marinara and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes until the cheese melts, then top with torn fresh basil leaves. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Baked eggplant parmesan, Eggplant parmesan

More eggplant recipes

We love eggplant around here! If you do too, here are some recipes you also might enjoy:

  • Perfect Roasted Eggplant Baking until it’s tender makes for unreal flavor. Serve it as a side dish, or toss with pasta!
  • Roasted Eggplant Pasta An impressive plant based dinner, it works for weeknights or parties.
  • Easy Eggplant Pizza Use eggplant for the crust to make eggplant pizza! These mini pizzas are tasty and easy to make, covered in garlicky sauce and gooey cheese.
  • Grilled Eggplant Here’s how to make perfectly grilled eggplant! These tricks make it come out tender every time.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Baked Bubbly and Cheesy Cauliflower Parmesan.

This cauliflower parmesan is the perfect cheesy treat. Why yes, I’ll call anything with a cheese a treat. Cheese is my treat of choice. Always! To say I love this meal (side? snack?) would be an understatement. It is so darn good. See, Eddie LOVES chicken parmesan. I make it for him every few weeks […]

The post Baked Bubbly and Cheesy Cauliflower Parmesan. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This cauliflower parmesan is the perfect cheesy treat.

baked cauliflower parmesan

Why yes, I’ll call anything with a cheese a treat. Cheese is my treat of choice. Always!

sliced cauliflower

To say I love this meal (side? snack?) would be an understatement. It is so darn good.

See, Eddie LOVES chicken parmesan. I make it for him every few weeks (sometimes in meatball form!). And I’m not sure when the idea of cauliflower covered in sauce and cheese became more appealing to me than chicken covered in sauce and cheese, but it did. There I said it! 

cauliflower steaks with olive oil

It’s true. This is more desirable to me than crispy chicken, which is just crazy! I never thought the day would come.

Now I don’t exactly consider this a meal alone, though it could be one – maybe with a side of pasta or vegetables or beans or something? Something with a little more substance. 

OR you could make this as a side dish. Or heck, a nice little lunch with a greens salad. Sounds perfect with a glass of chilled pinot grigio!

cauliflower parmesan about to be baked

Okay so the cauliflower parm!

It’s no secret that roasted cauliflower is one of the first vegetables I really got into. I’ve said for years that when it’s roasted, it almost takes on a popcorn-like flavor. It’s kind of nutty, if you will. In a really good way.

fresh mozzarella, sauce on cauliflower

I still can’t bear to call cauliflower steaks. But I mean, these do look steak-like, if I do say so myself! The key is to slice the head of cauliflower into thick pieces so it can hold a ton of sauce and cheese.

Since we cut the slices thick, I like to roast them first. This allows them to get a little browned and charred, maybe with a few crispy edges. 

Then we go back in and top with marinara. Then top with fresh mozzarella!

baked cauliflower parmesan

Roast a bit more until that cheese is golden and bubbly. It’s a dream! Top with the garlic butter breadcrumbs for a little texture. And fresh basil too. 

baked cauliflower parmesan

This is definitely a knife and fork kind of dish. The cauliflower will be tender enough to cut with a fork, but it may be a little messy with the sauce. Throw in some garlic bread too? 

baked cauliflower parmesan

It’s warm and comforting and totally delish.

baked cauliflower parmesan

I’m all about the easy weeknight comfort meals right now and this hits the spot!

baked cauliflower parmesan

Cauliflower Parmesan

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Cauliflower Parmesan

This baked cauliflower parmesan is seasoned and covered in saucy marinara, topped with bubbly cheese and garlic butter breadcrumbs.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, for topping
  • fresh basil, for topping

garlic butter breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/3 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Slice the cauliflower from the top down, into 1-inch thick slices. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with the olive oil so it covers the slices. Sprinkle with the italian seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper all over. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, spoon the marinara over the cauliflower. Place a slice of the fresh mozzarella on top. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
  • Remove the cauliflower and top with the breadcrumbs, fresh basil and a sprinkle of parmesan.

garlic butter breadcrumbs

  • Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic, cook for a few seconds, then stir in the bread crumbs. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes until golden.

baked cauliflower parmesan

Looks like a nice cheesy pillow

The post Baked Bubbly and Cheesy Cauliflower Parmesan. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Baked Rigatoni Pasta

This easy baked rigatoni is all about crowd pleasing flavor! Bake this tublar pasta with garlicky tomato sauce, fresh basil, and gooey mozzarella. Here’s a vegetarian dinner idea that marries basic Italian flavors into a mess of garlicky, gooey goodness: Baked Rigatoni! It’s a pasta bake that’s got all the comfort of tomato sauce and cheese, but has intrigue and uniqueness in the flavors. The tomato sauce is full of garlic and a little fennel for meatiness, and it’s got lots of fresh peppery basil for a herbaceous kick. Cover it in gooey mozzarella cheese and you’ve got a dish that’s hearty enough to please any eater. Ingredients in baked rigatoni The sauce in this baked rigatoni is full of tangy tomato flavor! As you’ll see, we’ve used a few tricks to get big flavor with little effort. Here’s what you’ll need: Rigatoni pasta Marinara sauce Use your favorite, high quality brand. Fire roasted crushed tomatoes If you can’t find them, use any high quality crushed tomatoes. More on fire roasted is below! Fresh garlic Key for big Italian flavors! Onion powder and fennel These add to the meatiness. Fresh basil Peppery fresh basil brings an herby zing. Fresh mozzarella […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This easy baked rigatoni is all about crowd pleasing flavor! Bake this tublar pasta with garlicky tomato sauce, fresh basil, and gooey mozzarella.

Baked rigatoni

Here’s a vegetarian dinner idea that marries basic Italian flavors into a mess of garlicky, gooey goodness: Baked Rigatoni! It’s a pasta bake that’s got all the comfort of tomato sauce and cheese, but has intrigue and uniqueness in the flavors. The tomato sauce is full of garlic and a little fennel for meatiness, and it’s got lots of fresh peppery basil for a herbaceous kick. Cover it in gooey mozzarella cheese and you’ve got a dish that’s hearty enough to please any eater.

Ingredients in baked rigatoni

The sauce in this baked rigatoni is full of tangy tomato flavor! As you’ll see, we’ve used a few tricks to get big flavor with little effort. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rigatoni pasta
  • Marinara sauce Use your favorite, high quality brand.
  • Fire roasted crushed tomatoes If you can’t find them, use any high quality crushed tomatoes. More on fire roasted is below!
  • Fresh garlic Key for big Italian flavors!
  • Onion powder and fennel These add to the meatiness.
  • Fresh basil Peppery fresh basil brings an herby zing.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese Use shredded mozzarella if you can’t find it.
  • Parmesan cheese Grated Parmesan finishes it off with a savory sharpness.
Rigatoni

What is rigatoni?

Rigatoni is a tube-shaped pasta that usually has ridges on the outside, used in cuisine from Southern and Central Italy. It’s larger in diameter than penne and is cut straight, not on the diagonal. Rigatoni comes from the Italian word rigato which means “ridged”. It’s easy to find at most grocery stores.

What we like about rigatoni? One bite of rigatoni feels somehow more substantial than penne, and the shape tends to hold sauces a bit better. However, it’s very similar to penne and can easily be substituted for it. Rigatoni is a short cut type of pasta, so you can substitute it with many short cut pasta shapes.

How to make baked rigatoni: basic steps

This baked rigatoni is missing one thing that most rigatoni recipes have: meat! That makes it even easier than most to put together, and it works as a vegetarian main dish. Here’s all you have to do to make it:

  • Boil the pasta to al dente. Air on the side of a firm al dente, since the pasta will cook a little more as it bakes. See below for more!
  • Make the sauce. Saute garlic, add marinara, fire roasted tomatoes and spices, and simmer just a few minutes.
  • Combine, top with cheese, and bake. You’ll bake 25 minutes: 15 with foil and 10 without.
Baked rigatoni

How to cook pasta to al dente

What’s al dente? In Italian it means “to the bite” and means pasta that is still firm on the inside when cooked. The ideal al dente texture is a tender exterior balanced by a firm bite with a fleck of white at its core. Note that for this rigatoni recipe, you can air on the side of firm because the pasta cooks more as it bakes. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  • While cooking, check pasta continually for doneness.
  • As soon as the pasta has a tender exterior but a fleck of white at its core, drain it! Even a few seconds can be the difference between al dente and limp noodles.

Make ahead tips!

Yes! You can make the pasta right up until the baking step. Then refrigerate it until baking! We’d suggest refrigerating for only 24 hours. You may have to bake slightly longer: make sure that it’s fully warmed through and the cheese is fully melted.

Rigatoni

Fire roasted tomatoes have the best flavor

Last note on ingredients: we recommend using canned fire roasted tomatoes here. Why fire roasted? Fire roasted canned tomatoes have a sweet flavor right out of the can. So you don’t have to spend a long time simmering for great flavor. There are several of brands of fire roasted tomatoes these days that should be available at your local grocery.

Using these tomatoes is a little less crucial for a recipe like this where you’re combining them with marinara sauce. So if you can’t find them: buy the best quality tomatoes you can find!

Variations on baked rigatoni

You can always add mix-ins to this rigatoni! Here are some ideas on ingredients to add:

  • Cooked ground beef or plant based meat crumbles: Make it ultra traditional and saute meat or veggie crumbles. Add them to the pasta and sauce before baking.
  • Spinach and mushrooms: Saute mushrooms and spinach like in our Vegan Lasagna filling.
  • Other veggies. Saute other veggies you have on hand to add to the mix! Some ideas: kale, red pepper, zucchini, and so forth.
Cheese pull

This rigatoni recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free or legume pasta.

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Baked rigatoni

Baked Rigatoni Pasta


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This easy baked rigatoni is all about crowd pleasing flavor! Bake this tublar pasta with garlicky tomato sauce, fresh basil, and gooey mozzarella.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 15 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (or shredded)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a 9 x 13″ baking dish.
  2. Start a pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the rigatoni until it is just al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes). Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. In a separate pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the basil and tomatoes and stir for 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1 pinch red pepper flakes and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the sauce and the drained pasta into the baking dish. Top with torn pieces of mozzarella. Sprinkle the entire top with generous sprinkles of Parmesan cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until browned.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and top with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided over the top. Let stand 5 minutes. If desired, garnish with chopped basil. (Make ahead instructions: Make the pasta through Step 4 and cover with foil. Refrigerate until baking, up to 24 hours.)

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Rigatoni

More rigatoni recipes

Love rigatoni? Us too! Here are a few recipes that highlight this tasty pasta shape:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato

A delicious summery dinner you can make as a vegetarian centrepiece for dinner parties or even a weeknight meal. These aubergines are stuffed with a tomato sauce filled with capers and shallot, fresh mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs. These taste almost like a classic aubergine parmigiana but (a) a lot prettier and (b) a lot easier to make (no frying involved = much less hassle). I know aubergine skins can often become tough and chewy when baked but here, they are soft and melty! The inner aubergine flesh is scooped out and cooked into the tomato sauce which makes it silky smooth and means you don’t waste any part of it. I think these are the perfect thing to make for a Summer-y yet comforting meal and are a bit fancy looking too so are great for when guests come round. Serve them up as a starter (just 1/2 an aub per person) or a main (1 aub per person) with a side salad & some bread.

The post Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a plate of stuffed aubergine halves with tomato, mozzarella and basil

A delicious summery dinner you can make as a vegetarian centrepiece for dinner parties or even a weeknight meal. These aubergines are stuffed with a tomato sauce filled with capers and shallot, fresh mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs.

stuffed aubergine half with mozzarella, tomato and basil

These taste almost like a classic aubergine parmigiana but (a) a lot prettier and (b) a lot easier to make (no frying involved = much less hassle). I know aubergine skins can often become tough and chewy when baked but here, they are soft and melty! The inner aubergine flesh is scooped out and cooked into the tomato sauce which makes it silky smooth and means you don’t waste any part of it.

I think these are the perfect thing to make for a Summer-y yet comforting meal and are a bit fancy looking too so are great for when guests come round. Serve them up as a starter (just 1/2 an aub per person) or a main (1 aub per person) with a side salad & some bread.

Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato

Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato

Yield: serves 2-4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt
  • 1 shallot (or 1/2 small onion), finely diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g (7 ounces or ~4 medium) tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers (optional)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Ryvita dark rye breads
  • 25g (1/2 cup) Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • black pepper
  • 125g ball fresh mozzarella, drained and diced
  • fresh basil/thyme leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan (350F).
  2. Cut the aubergines in half down their lengths. Use a spoon to scoop out the centre flesh of the aubergine leaving a 1cm thick border. Save the flesh for later.
  3. Place the aubergine halves on a baking tray, cut side up, and drizzle with some olive oil. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread it around over the cut surface of the aubergine and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  4. Bake for ~20 minutes until soft.
  5. Roughly chop up the aubergine flesh from earlier. Set aside for now.
  6. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped aubergine flesh and a pinch of salt to the dry pan. Cook until the aubergine has shrunk and is starting to brown then add 1 tbsp olive oil and cook for a few minutes more to help the aubergine soften.
  7. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until translucent (~5 minutes). Next stir in the tomato and garlic. Finally stir in the balsamic vinegar, capers and tomato paste. Take it off the heat and set aside.
  8. Place the ryvita rye breads into a sandwich bag and bash them up until broken down to the size of small breadcrumbs. Mix with the pecorino, thyme leaves and a few grinds of black pepper in a bowl and set aside.


Assemble and bake:

  1. Take your baked aubergine halves from earlier. Place a spoonful of the tomato mixture into the base of each half and spread out into an even layer. Top with a layer of diced mozzarella and a layer of the ryvita mixture. Repeat this layering once more to use all the remaining tomato/mozzarella/breadcrumb mixture.
  2. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake for a further ~30 minutes until the cheese has melted and they're golden and bubbling.
  3. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme/basil if you like and serve hot.

The post Stuffed Aubergines with Mozzarella & Tomato appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve taken a basic spinach artichoke dip recipe, tweaked the ingredients to be a little more like a melty grilled cheese than […]

The post Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is totally indulgent. It’s like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal (because you were going to eat that spinach artichoke dip as your meal anyway, right?). I’ve taken a basic spinach artichoke dip recipe, tweaked the ingredients to be a little more like a melty grilled cheese than a gooey dip, then stuffed it between two pieces of my favorite homemade focaccia. It’s a golden brown, crispy, melty, gooey delight.

Originally published 7-30-2016, updated 6-14-2020.

A hand picking up half of a spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching between the pieces

Is This a Melt or a Grilled Cheese?

Okay, so technically this type of sandwich is called a “melt.” A melt is a grilled cheese that has other ingredients added, like vegetables or meat, whereas a grilled cheese is a cheese-only grilled sandwich. While the difference between a melt and a grilled cheese often sparks heated debates, I want people to be able to find this recipe on the internet, and the data shows that people are searching for “spinach artichoke grilled cheese,” not “spinach artichoke melt” (literally zero Google searches for that term per month). The English language is fluid, and the use of the term “melt” is declining. So here we are! 

Do I Have to Use Focaccia?

I made this sandwich with my homemade focaccia, but you can use any bread that you’d like. I love the focaccia because it’s really sturdy, which you want in order to hold up to the hefty filling, and it crisps up so well because of it’s olive oil soaked exterior. 

If you’d like to use a different kind of bread, you’ll probably want to smear a little butter on each slice to get that nice golden brown crispy exterior. You can also stuff this filling into a tortilla and cook it up like a quesadilla!

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, if you prefer to work with fresh spinach, simply chop it up and sauté it briefly in a skillet to cook out some of the moisture, then continue with the recipe as stated.

How Much Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe makes about 2 cups worth of sandwich filling, which will get you either two large grilled cheese sandwiches, or four smaller sandwiches. 

Can I Make the Spinach Artichoke Filling Ahead?

Live alone? Don’t feel pressured to eat all the Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese filling in one sitting (No, that’s not a dare). You can keep the sandwich filling in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days and make sandwiches or quesadillas as you see fit. 

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches on a serving tray with a cup of tomato soup.

Pictured with Tomato Herb Soup on a small enamelware tray (affiliate link).

 
A hand picking up a piece of spinach artichoke grilled cheese with cheese stretching from the slice

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese is like your favorite restaurant appetizer turned into a meal. Rich, creamy, cheesy, and totally veggilicious!
Total Cost $3.63 recipe. /$1.82 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 large sandwiches
Calories 571.63kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.50
  • ½ 12oz. jar quartered artichoke hearts in water $1.30
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.85
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.20
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 pieces focaccia* $1.19
  • 2 tsp butter (optional) $0.26

Instructions

  • Thaw the spinach, then squeeze out as much water as possible. You should have about 1 cup chopped spinach before squeezing the water out and about 1/2 cup after squeezing.
  • Drain the artichoke hearts well, then chop them into small bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped artichokes to a large bowl with the spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, mayonnaise, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir the ingredients until evenly combined.
  • Spread about 1/2 tsp butter on each slice of bread. Pack about 1 cup of the cheese and vegetable mixture between two slices of bread, buttered sides facing out.
  • Place the sandwiches in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the outsides are golden brown and the filling has melted. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If you're using focaccia, you may not need to butter the slices. See the text above the recipe for other bread options.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 571.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.98g | Protein: 22.9g | Fat: 32.84g | Sodium: 1520.98mg | Fiber: 7.87g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches stacked on a serving tray next to a mug of tomato soup

How to Make Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese – Step by Step Photos

Thawed and squeeze frozen spinach in a bowl

Begin with about 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach. Thaw the spinach, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You’ll want about 1 cup unsqueezed, or 1/2 cup after squeezing dry.

Chopped artichoke hearts

Drain one 1/2 of a 12oz. jar of quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water), then chop them into small pieces.

Spinach artichoke grilled cheese filling ingredients in a bowl

Add the chopped artichokes to a large bowl with the spinach, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, ⅛ tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Mixed spinach artichoke grilled cheese filling

Stir the ingredients until they’re evenly mixed. There should be just enough mayo to make the ingredients all stick together. You can refrigerate the filling at this point and use it later, or throughout the week.

Spinach artichoke filling added to pieces of focaccia

If you’re using focaccia, slice the pieces in half so you have a top and bottom piece. If you’re using regular bread, you’ll want to spread a little butter on the outsides of each piece of bread. Fill each sandwich with about 1 cup of the filling.

Spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches being cooked in the skillet

Cook the sandwiches in a large skillet over medium low heat until each side is golden brown and the filling is melted. 

Two spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches on a serving tray with a cup of tomato soup

Buttery, crispy, artichokey goodness!

The post Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Melted Zucchini Baked Ziti.

Oh guys. I am super super into melted zucchini baked ziti right now. Pretty sure this is my summer love language. It’s been my little secret in the kitchen for the last few weeks. It’s a dish we’ve eaten constantly. Eddie is thisssss close to being sick of it because I’ve made it so much. […]

The post Melted Zucchini Baked Ziti. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Oh guys. I am super super into melted zucchini baked ziti right now.

melted zucchini baked ziti

Pretty sure this is my summer love language.

It’s been my little secret in the kitchen for the last few weeks. It’s a dish we’ve eaten constantly. Eddie is thisssss close to being sick of it because I’ve made it so much. Oh well! More for me. 

melted zucchini and garlic in skillet

Plus look at all that green! And garlic! Totally an excellent way to eat veggies.

zucchini and fresh basil in skillet

I absolutely love this method of cooking zucchini. It melts into an almost-sauce. You sauté it with some olive oil, salt and garlic and is melts into zucchini strands that are soft and flavorful and kind of caramelized!

It’s SO good.

noodles

I’ve made a zucchini sauce recipe before from bon appetit, but a few weeks ago my friend Flavia started making a version of the zucchini pasta on her instagram. It got me SO excited for summer and all the uses for zucchini. Other than this summer squash brown butter pasta, another huge fave. 

And this one is great because you can use up a LOT of zucchini squash. For instance, I like to make this sauce with four or five whole zucchini. They melt down so much (almost like when you cook onions) that you will be shocked!

pasta tossed with melted zucchini

Also! This baked ziti is for all my friends who are usually very underwhelmed by baked ziti. Hi. It’s me! Right?!

There are a few variations of baked ziti that are incredible, and actually I have another one coming in my book next year. But on the regular, it’s just not like there is much going on and if you don’t love tomato sauce, it can be even more underwhelming! Hi. Me again.

This is the solution. 

fresh mozzarella covering zucchini ziti

A summery baked pasta. It’s perfect as a side dish for a party or amazing for dinner with a big greens salad. I’ve probably made this dish ten times in the last month, giving it away to friends and family with abandon. Pretty sure come the end of the summer with zucchini is everywhere, I’ll have a bunch at my doorstep! 

melted zucchini baked ziti

Here’s the scoop:

It’s still simple and flavorful, almost like a naked pasta. Noodles, zucchini, garlic and olive oil. Some pesto stirred in towards the end. Any variety you like! Loaded up with parmesan, ricotta and fresh mozzarella. Tons of chopped fresh basil too! 

Make it in a skillet for weeknight dinner, or make it in a baking dish to take to a cookout as the side dish.

Oh and I actually have another skillet lasagna coming next week that is similar and oh so good – with other flavors that just scream summer.

melted zucchini baked ziti

Anywayyyy… you bake it for just a bit to bring everything together. Then eat the cheesy goodness. 

Simple, flavorful and so insanely good! 

melted zucchini baked ziti

Melted Zucchini Baked Ziti

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Melted Zucchini Baked Ziti

This melted zucchini ziti is made with an olive oil zucchini sauce, lots of garlic, fresh basil, ricotta and mozzarella. It's summer perfect!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 as a meal, 6 as a side dish
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ziti pasta, or similar cut noodle
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • cup olive oil
  • 4 medium zucchini squash, sliced into rounds or chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil, plus extra for topping
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Be sure to reserve the ½ cup of the pasta water after cooking!
  • Heat a large skillet (you can do an oven safe one if you don’t want to transfer) over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the zucchini, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini cook down and sort of melt into the pan. Stir in the red pepper flakes.
  • Stir in the reserved pasta water and the pesto. Stir in the fresh basil. By this time the pasta should be finished. You can either add everything to a baking dish or add it all to the skillet if it’s large enough. Toss the pasta with the zucchini pesto mixture - whether it’s in the dish or skillet.
  • Add the ricotta cheese in scoops throughout the pasta. Toss it together until the ricotta coats most of the pasta. Add the fresh mozzarella - a few slices in the noodles and a few on top too.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, just until the cheese melts everything comes together. Remove and serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and fresh basil for garnish.

melted zucchini baked ziti

Plus, veggies!

The post Melted Zucchini Baked Ziti. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Ultimate Spinach Pizza

Get your greens and pizza fix all at once with this spinach pizza! Ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese make for a creamy pie everyone will love. Want to get your greens and eat your pizza too? Try this Spinach Pizza! It’s got the power to change the minds of spinach haters everywhere. Yes, this pizza is all about garlicky, savory flavor! Any bitterness in the spinach melts away into the three cheeses. Ricotta makes for a creamy base, and mozzarella and Parmesan add stretchy texture and savory flavor. Top it off with herby spinach and a few colorful vegetables, and it’s a crowd-pleaser that everyone will love (especially with Italian salad). Even spinach haters! The secret to this spinach pizza? Frozen spinach. This spinach pizza has a little secret. It uses frozen spinach! Now, why is that important? It’s not just for the convenience factor (though that’s a thing). Frozen spinach has a satisfying texture: think spinach artichoke dip! Fresh spinach and frozen spinach are almost like two separate ingredients. Frozen spinach is blanched before it’s packaged, meaning it’s cooked quickly before freezing. This gives it a super satisfying texture when topped on a pizza: lightly crunchy and almost fluffy, […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Get your greens and pizza fix all at once with this spinach pizza! Ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese make for a creamy pie everyone will love.

Spinach pizza

Want to get your greens and eat your pizza too? Try this Spinach Pizza! It’s got the power to change the minds of spinach haters everywhere. Yes, this pizza is all about garlicky, savory flavor! Any bitterness in the spinach melts away into the three cheeses. Ricotta makes for a creamy base, and mozzarella and Parmesan add stretchy texture and savory flavor. Top it off with herby spinach and a few colorful vegetables, and it’s a crowd-pleaser that everyone will love (especially with Italian salad). Even spinach haters!

The secret to this spinach pizza? Frozen spinach.

This spinach pizza has a little secret. It uses frozen spinach! Now, why is that important? It’s not just for the convenience factor (though that’s a thing).

  • Frozen spinach has a satisfying texture: think spinach artichoke dip! Fresh spinach and frozen spinach are almost like two separate ingredients. Frozen spinach is blanched before it’s packaged, meaning it’s cooked quickly before freezing. This gives it a super satisfying texture when topped on a pizza: lightly crunchy and almost fluffy, whereas cooked spinach can get a little slimy. It reminds us of spinach artichoke dip!
  • It’s easy to use frozen spinach: no cooking necessary. Yes, the convenience factor is a thing too! Frozen spinach just needs a rinse under warm water to thaw it. No cooking required!
Spinach pizza

How to make spinach pizza (basic steps)

This spinach pizza is a white pizza, meaning it has a white sauce (or olive oil) that covers the dough. The most technique-driven part of making a pizza is the pizza crust, which we’ll walk through down below. Here are the basic steps (or go right to the recipe):

  • Make the pizza dough. See below for more on how to do it. Or, you can also do a “cheater” pizza by using this as a topping for Naan Pizza or Flatbread Pizza!
  • Thaw and season the spinach. All it needs is a quick rinse under warm water. Here’s the important part: squeeze out as much water as possible over a strainer! This brings the spinach to a dry, almost crumbly texture. This is what you want!
  • Season the ricotta. Mix it with some salt, pepper and minced garlic.
  • Top with mozzarella and Parmesan, then the spinach and veggies. That’s it!

A few more white pizza recipes? Try our Ricotta Pizza or White Pizza (Pizza Bianca).

Homemade pizza dough & alternative options!

Homemade pizza dough is absolutely worth the effort: and once you practice a few times, it will become second nature! There are also several alternative options that are easier and quicker. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Pizza dough: master recipe! This Best Pizza Dough is our tried and true crust: it comes out with the absolute perfect texture. Stretching the dough takes a bit of practice, but it’s not hard. Head to How to Stretch Pizza Dough.
  • Thin crust. Try this Thin Crust Pizza Dough: it’s easy to roll out into a thinner, crispier crust.
  • Naan or flatbread pizza. To make a quick and easy pizza, try our Naan Pizza or Flatbread Pizza.
  • Pan pizza. You can even make this into a pan pizza in a cast iron skillet! It takes a little longer, but it’s easier because you don’t have to stretch the dough.
How to make spinach pizza
How to make

Equipment you need (for the master recipe)

If you make our master pizza dough recipe or the thin crust pizza, you’ll need a few tools for your spinach pizza. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Pizza stone: You can bake pizza on a baking sheet, but it’s infinitely better on a pizza stone! A pizza stone is what makes Italian pizza crust crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found, plus care tips.
  • Pizza peel: When you use a pizza stone, it’s easiest to use a pizza peel to transfer the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. We recommend this Standard pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel.

Variation: make it into Spinach Artichoke Pizza!

Do you love spinach artichoke dip? (We do!) You can easily make this spinach pizza into a Spinach Artichoke Pizza! Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the red onion and red pepper.
  • Top it with a handful of chopped artichokes from a can or jar of artichoke hearts.
  • Or make this Spinach Artichoke Pizza, a slightly different variation!
Spinach pizza

Other topping ideas

There are lots of other fun topping ideas for this spinach pizza! Here are a few ingredients we’d try:

  • Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Bell peppers, multi-colored
  • Caramelized onions
  • Prosciutto

This spinach pizza is…

Vegetarian.

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Spinach pizza

Ultimate Spinach Pizza


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Get your greens and pizza fix all at once with this spinach pizza! Ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese make for a creamy pie everyone will love.


Ingredients

  • 1 ball Best Pizza Dough (or Thin Crust Dough)
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 handful sliced red onion
  • 1/2 jarred roasted red pepper (or fresh red bell pepper), diced
  • 1/2 small garlic clove (1/4 teaspoon minced)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough or Thin Crust Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Prepare the spinach: Run the spinach under warm water in a strainer, then squeeze out as much water as possible so that it has a dry, crumbly texture. Mix it in a bowl with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, the garlic powder and the oregano.
  4. Prepare the other toppings: Mince the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with the kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and minced garlic. Thinly slice the red onion, and dice the roasted red pepper.
  5. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  6. Spread the seasoned ricotta onto the dough. Top with the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, red onion, and red pepper.
  7. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Spinach pizza

More favorite pizza recipes

It’s pizza party time! Here are a few more topping ideas to try:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Pizza Pasta Salad

This is kind of just like a basic Italian pasta salad, but I’m calling it “Pizza Pasta Salad” because this is how I use my leftover pizza toppings. Haha! When you buy a jar of peppers, olives, or any other pizza toppings, it’s always way too much for one pizza, so I repurpose all the […]

The post Pizza Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This is kind of just like a basic Italian pasta salad, but I’m calling it “Pizza Pasta Salad” because this is how I use my leftover pizza toppings. Haha! When you buy a jar of peppers, olives, or any other pizza toppings, it’s always way too much for one pizza, so I repurpose all the pizza toppings in a pasta salad the next day. And the best part is that this Pizza Pasta Salad is another one of those great “refrigerator salads” that hold up well for days, so you can keep munching away happily throughout the week!

Repurposed Pizza Topping Pasta Salad

Overhead view of a serving bowl full of pizza pasta salad, wooden spoons on the side

What’s In Pizza Pasta Salad?

Whatever you want! Ha! That’s the beauty of this one. In my pizza pasta salad I included mozzarella, pepperoni, green bell pepper, black olives, red onion, and banana peppers. Here are some other things that would be awesome in this pasta salad:

  • Bacon
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Spinach
  • Green Olives
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Pesto
  • Feta
  • Fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley)
  • Mushrooms (marinated mushrooms would be even better)
  • Artichoke hearts

Honestly, the only thing I probably wouldn’t put in my pizza pasta salad is pineapple. While I am a pineapple-pizza fan (sorry-not-sorry), I don’t think it would be very good in this pasta salad.

What Dressing Do you Use?

In the recipe below I’ve included a homemade Italian dressing with grated Parmesan cheese. If you want to take a short cut and use a store bought dressing, I suggest some sort of Italian dressing or Caesar dressing (non-creamy style), and if it doesn’t have Parmesan already in it, I would add some. The Parmesan cheese really adds some oomph to this pizza pasta salad.

Can I Use a Different Pasta?

Absolutely! This recipe is endlessly versatile. You can use any short shaped pasta, like bowtie, penne, or even shells. While you can use a long shape pasta like spaghetti, that type tends to be difficult to stir chunky objects into (they like to fall to the sides or bottom of the bowl). This recipe should also work fine with whole wheat or gluten free pasta.

How Long Does Pizza Pasta Stay Good?

This pasta salad is very refrigerator friendly and will last about 4-5 days in your refrigerator. That means it’s great for your weekly meal prep!

Love refrigerator salads as much as I do? Check out my round up of 19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy on the Go!

Close up of a large spoonful of pizza pasta salad on a wooden spoon, bowl in the background

 
Close up of a serving bowl of pizza pasta salad, a wooden spoon in the side
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Italian Pizza Pasta Salad

Repurpose your leftover pizza toppings into this deliciously simple Italian style pizza pasta salad. Including a simple homemade Italian dressing!
Total Cost $7.98 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 394.33kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil $0.84
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar $0.40
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22

Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb. rotini pasta $1.00
  • 3 oz. pepperoni $1.25
  • 4 oz. mozzarella $1.15
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.89
  • 1/4 cup red onion $0.11
  • 1/2 12oz. jar banana pepper rings $1.00
  • 1/2 4oz. can sliced black olives $0.70

Instructions

  • Make the Italian dressing first so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and Parmesan to a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients together, or place a lid on the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Cook the rotini according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the pasta drain well, shaking the colander every few minutes to remove excess water from the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the other pasta salad ingredients. Cut the pepperoni in half or into quarters, and chop the mozzarella into small cubes. Dice the bell pepper and red onion. Drain the banana pepper rings and black olives.
  • When the pasta is cooked, cooled, and drained well, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the rest of the prepared ingredients (pepperoni, mozzarella, bell pepper, red onion, banana peppers, and black olives). Toss the ingredients to combine.
  • Give the dressing another shake or stir before drizzling it over the pasta salad. Toss the pasta salad once again to coat everything in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 394.33kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.11g | Protein: 10.01g | Fat: 19.61g | Sodium: 385.08mg | Fiber: 2.18g

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

Close up of a serving bowl of pizza pasta salad, a wooden spoon in the side

How to Make Pizza Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos

A jar of homemade Italian dressing with a spoon lifting a bit out of the jar

Make the Italian dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Add ½ cup olive oil, ¼ red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese to a bowl or jar. Either whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked rotini pasta in a colander

Cook one pound of rotini pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the pasta drain well, shaking the colander every few minutes to shake off excess water.

Mozzarella and pepperoni on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking and cooling, prepare the rest of the pasta salad ingredients. Chop 4oz. mozzarella into small cubes and cut 3oz. (half of a 6oz. package) pepperoni into half rounds or quarter rounds.

Bell pepper, red onion, black olives, and banana peppers on a cutting board

Dice one green bell pepper and about ¼ cup red onion. Drain ½ of a 12oz. jar banana pepper rings, and ½ of a 4oz. can sliced black olives. 

Pasta salad ingredients in a bowl

Once the pasta is cooked, cooled, and drained well, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the pepperoni, mozzarella, green bell pepper, red onion, banana peppers, and black olives to the bowl. Toss these ingredients together.

Shaken jar of dressing held over the bowl of pasta salad.

Give the dressing one last stir or shake…

Italian dressing being poured over pasta salad

Then pour the dressing over the pasta salad.

Tossed pizza pasta salad in a large bowl

Toss the salad again until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat!

Overhead view of pizza pasta salad in a serving bowl with wooden salad utensils on the side

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